Tough love and the love of horses go hand and hand in this conventional but fairly skillful sequel to Mapson's well-received novel about mismatched lovers, Hank and Chloe (1993). Loving Chloe literally begins where Hank and Chloe finished. Hapless horsewoman Chloe pulls her truck up in front of the northern Arizona cabin that Hank, her former lover, has inherited from his grandmother. A gentle former professor of folklore, Hank has been wishing that hard-edged Chloe would finally get it together and come back to him. And indeed she does: for Chloe's pregnant. Before she can kick off her Tony Lamas, the two are once again passionately entwined and sharing dry, self-deprecating jokes. ``This feels so right,'' says Hank, delighted by the prospect of becoming a father. Meanwhile, Junior Whitebear, a famous Navajo jeweler, returns to the nearby reservation after eight years away. Whitebear, a man of integrity, tenderness, and humor, arrives just in time to play midwife, delivering Chloe's baby in a wrenching birth scene. Readers of Hank and Chloe will remember that the couple originally met during the messy birth of a foal, Chloe getting covered by the blood of the dead mare. This time, she's the mare in trouble. And—wouldn't you know?—soon after she and Hank become parents, Chloe finds herself irresistibly attracted to the savior Whitebear. Mapson, in fact, packs in so much story here that at times the novel reads like a partial outline for number three in her series—with the real flaw that the conclusion seems tacked-on and too neat to suit the raw emotions of its characters. Still, Mapson knows how people behave under the influence of pain, and she captures—evocatively—the unique setting of the Southwest. Though predictable in a sexy, country-western ballad way, also as lyrical and memorable as any romantic melody. (Literary Guild selection)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-06-017217-7

Page Count: 368

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 1997

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An enjoyable, cozy novel that touches on tough topics.


A group of strangers who live near each other in London become fast friends after writing their deepest secrets in a shared notebook.

Julian Jessop, a septuagenarian artist, is bone-crushingly lonely when he starts “The Authenticity Project”—as he titles a slim green notebook—and begins its first handwritten entry questioning how well people know each other in his tiny corner of London. After 15 years on his own mourning the loss of his beloved wife, he begins the project with the aim that whoever finds the little volume when he leaves it in a cafe will share their true self with their own entry and then pass the volume on to a stranger. The second person to share their inner selves in the notebook’s pages is Monica, 37, owner of a failing cafe and a former corporate lawyer who desperately wants to have a baby. From there the story unfolds, as the volume travels to Thailand and back to London, seemingly destined to fall only into the hands of people—an alcoholic drug addict, an Australian tourist, a social media influencer/new mother, etc.—who already live clustered together geographically. This is a glossy tale where difficulties and addictions appear and are overcome, where lies are told and then forgiven, where love is sought and found, and where truths, once spoken, can set you free. Secondary characters, including an interracial gay couple, appear with their own nuanced parts in the story. The message is strong, urging readers to get off their smartphones and social media and live in the real, authentic world—no chain stores or brands allowed here—making friends and forming a real-life community and support network. And is that really a bad thing?

An enjoyable, cozy novel that touches on tough topics.

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-7861-8

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Pamela Dorman/Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2019

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A strict report, worthy of sympathy.


A violent surfacing of adolescence (which has little in common with Tarkington's earlier, broadly comic, Seventeen) has a compulsive impact.

"Nobody big except me" is the dream world of Holden Caulfield and his first person story is down to the basic, drab English of the pre-collegiate. For Holden is now being bounced from fancy prep, and, after a vicious evening with hall- and roommates, heads for New York to try to keep his latest failure from his parents. He tries to have a wild evening (all he does is pay the check), is terrorized by the hotel elevator man and his on-call whore, has a date with a girl he likes—and hates, sees his 10 year old sister, Phoebe. He also visits a sympathetic English teacher after trying on a drunken session, and when he keeps his date with Phoebe, who turns up with her suitcase to join him on his flight, he heads home to a hospital siege. This is tender and true, and impossible, in its picture of the old hells of young boys, the lonesomeness and tentative attempts to be mature and secure, the awful block between youth and being grown-up, the fright and sickness that humans and their behavior cause the challenging, the dramatization of the big bang. It is a sorry little worm's view of the off-beat of adult pressure, of contemporary strictures and conformity, of sentiment….

A strict report, worthy of sympathy.

Pub Date: June 15, 1951

ISBN: 0316769177

Page Count: -

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1951

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